Former SC aspirants nominated for CJ post

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Three familiar names outside the Supreme Court have been nominated to replace dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona, a member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) said on Thursday, June 7, a day after the nominations for the highest judicial post were formally opened.

Solicitor-General Francis Jardeleza, lawyer Katrina Legarda and former Ateneo Law Dean Cesar Villanueva were nominated to the post vacated by Corona on May 29, according to JBC member Jose Mejia. 

Jardeleza applied for a seat in the SC in 2011, while Legarda and Villanueva were nominated to the high court in 2010 and 2008, respectively.

The JBC opened the applications and nominations for the chief justice post on June 6. It will only accept candidates until June 18. 

The body will submit a short list of names to President Aquino, who will then select the next chief justice.

The three nominees are the first outside the SC who have been nominated. Earlier, the names of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares were floated as possible nominees.

Meanwhile, automatically nominated to the post are the five most senior justices of the SC: Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta and Presbitero Velasco Jr.

Mandated by law, Carpio took over the reins of the high tribunal after Corona was convicted by the Senate impeachment court. Corona was found guilty of violating the Constitution and betraying public trust after he failed to declare P183 million in peso and dollar accounts in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. 

Second try

This is the second time that Legarda, Jardeleza and Villanueva will try to get into the high court.

In 2010, Legarda was nominated by then University of the Philippines Law Dean Marvic Leonen as associate justice. She was recommended for the chief justice post by UP Professor Myrna Feliciano and a certain Chia Santiago.

In her previous interview with the JBC, Legarda, who specializes in family law, said she deserved to be a member of the high court because she thinks "out of the box."

Jardeleza, on the other hand, applied for the position of associate justice in 2011. A former deputy ombudsman for Luzon, Jardeleza told the JBC he was right for the post because he's "independent" and lives "a very simple life." (Read Jardeleza's profile)

Before joining the government, Jardeleza served in the private sector for 33 years. He was general counsel of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp, which is partly owned by President Aquino's uncle, Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr. Prior to that, he was a partner at law firm ACCRA (Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices) and the Roco, Buñag, Kapunan, Migallos & Jardeleza law office. 

The third nominee, Villanueva, is the former dean of the Ateneo Law School in Makati City. He is a certified public accountant with academic background in commercial law. (Read Villanueva's previous interview with the JBC) - Rappler.com

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